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range of their weapons, without being destroyed in the attempt.
Cavalry officers have lately theorized to a great extent upon the question of the effect of the breech-loading rifle upon the future employment of heavy cavalry. Some of them admit that, under most circumstances, charges of cavalry against the long-range rifle could not be made, but hold the view that contingencies must occur and chances arise where the impetuous charge would be followed with great results. We have shut our eyes too long to the fact that while the speed of the horse and weight of the man have remained stationary, the precision of aim, length of range, and rapidity of fire of the new rifle have increased to such an extent, as to destroy the conditions which formerly made cavalry charges so important an element in winning battles.
An article in the "Saturday Review" of the 7th October last, on "the tactical lessons of the Autumn Campaign," is a good illustration of the theories held on this question of cavalry charges. It says:—
"We have learnt that cavalry of every "description is as necessary a component of an army as it ever was, but that it must "be handled and organized in a new fash❝ion. At present our cavalry leaders are "but mere apprentices, and the glorious arm at their disposal was in the recent campaign "rather an incumbrance to the army than "otherwise. In the intervals between the "battles, the light cavalry very imperfectly "performed their duty as purveyors of intel"ligence, and on the day of battle, the "chief object of every one appeared to be to get our squadrons out of the way, both of "harm and of the other branches of the ser"vice. It is very evident that masses of cavalry will for the future be only used ex"ceptionally, and that they must be kept in "6 reserve until the decisive moment. *
By a sudden swoop on the flank, however, or even a direct attack, where from "the nature of the ground, the enemy's fire
"cannot take effect until within 200 yards' "distance, great things are still to be effected. "In the concluding battle of our sham cam"paign, we had a proof of this. A body of cav"alry suddenly appeared on the brow of a hill "and dashed at the skirmishers of the 42nd "Highlanders, who, startled at the appari"tion, hastily proceeded to form rallying squares. The dragoons were, however, 'upon them before they could complete "the movement, and had the contest been "a real one, would have sabred them to a man. The Highlanders have been "blamed for forming squares. They ought, it "is said, to have remained steady, and have "trusted to the effect of their fire. Setting
aside, however, the moral effect of the "sudden appearance of a body of horsemen charging down at full speed, the High"landers could not at the outside have fired "more than twice, and that hurriedly, and, 66 under any circumstances, they would have "been annihilated."
The above is the most common theory on this subject. We will now quote an account of the French cavalry charges at Sedan, from a letter received by the writer of this article from a distinguished officer who was with the Prussian army during the earlier battles of the war. This officer, who has himself seen much service, says:
"be no greater calumny than to say they "did not charge home. General Sheridan as"sured me they behaved most nobly, coming "up again and again at the signal to charge. "They were sheltered from fire till the "last moment, were carefully handled, and "skilfully and bravely led. The ground
"thirty hours after, while the dead men and "horses all lay there, so that I formed as "correct an idea of it as if I had seen it."The first charge delivered by the 1st "French Huzzars, was made under the most "favourable circumstances possible. They "were very well handled. As the Prussian "infantry skirmishers, in advance of the main "they charged over was not more than four "body, came over the hill behind which they" hundred yards, yet the result was virtually "their destruction as a military body, without any effect whatever.
"had been waiting, they were led round "under cover of the brow till they got com"pletely in rear of, and on the right flank of "the skirmishers. They thus got within one "hundred yards of them before they were "seen, and then charged most gallantly, sweep"ing down the whole line. But, even under "these advantageous circumstances, the "charge had no result worth speaking of."The Germans ran into knots and opened "fire; a very few who ran to the rear, say "twenty-five or thirty, were cut down. On "the other hand, the fire of these clumps “and rallying squares completely destroyed "the huzzars. The two rear squadrons "wisely swerved off and regained the shelter "of the hill. Those who went down the "line were all killed, wounded, or driven "down on the Prussian side of the slope "into a village and there captured. It did "not delay the advance of the Prussian in"fantry five minutes. The succeeding "charges made by the 1st, 3rd, and 4th "Regiments of Chasseurs d'Afrique, and the "6th Chasseurs came to nothing, though "they were most gallantly and perseveringly "made. The Prussians simply waited for "them in line till they got to one hun'dred and fifty yards, and then just mowed "them down with volleys. They were shot "down before they could get within 50 yards. "It was a useless, purposeless slaughter. It “had, practically, no result whatever. The "hill side was literally covered with their "dead, and the bodies of their little grey Arab "horses. These two brigades of five regiments "must have lost quite 350 killed, besides "their wounded and prisoners. There can
"I took great pains to ascertain the facts. "A friend of mine, whom I had known in "Africa ten years before, was a major com"manding two squadrons of one of these "regiments. He showed me the roll of "his two squadrons, with each man's name "marked off. The result was fifty-eight men "of all ranks left effective, out of two hun"dred and sixteen that went into action."The whole time they were under musketry "fire must have been under a quarter of an "hour. So much for charging against breech"loaders."
A comparison between the circumstances of the charge on the skirmishers of the 42nd Highlanders and this charge on the Prussian skirmishers will show the parallel in the two cases to have been almost complete. They form a good illustration of the difference between theory and practice.
The fact is our Cavalry force must be reorganized. The Life Guards, splendid men and well horsed as they undoubtedly are, are nevertheless mere relics of the feudal age in their equipments. Imposing in their appearance upon peaceful parades, and as escorts in State ceremonials they may be; but they are useless in modern warfare, loaded down as they are by armour designed as a protection against missiles long since disused. One of the old German Emperors is said to have remarked that "armour protects the wearer and prevents him from injuring others." The first part of this saying no longer holds good, but the latter is almost as appropriate as ever.
There is another element in modern warfare not always considered that will materially affect this question. In the time of Frederick the Great, when Cavalry reached
gaged in. Although there is no service which
advantage where their movements can be concealed, their horses kept under cover, and their sharp-shooters obtain protection. Canada is peculiarly suited to this style of the highest point, and exercised the greatest | fighting, and it is a gratifying reflection that influence on the result of actions, armies, this arm of the service is especially adapted fought on open fields, pioneers levelled the to defensive warfare, which is the only kind. ground, made roads for the columns, and reof hostilities that we are ever likely to be enmoved obstructions; and one could overlook a whole battle-field. In the future, the dead-requires so much individual intelligence, we ly effect of the Infantry weapons will necessitate a careful attention on the part of offi- | cers to avoid level plains and to obtain cover for their men. Armies will rather choose broken and intersected country for their operations, than where no protection or cover can be obtained. The spade will be more used than ever, and breastworks will often be employed, and in such situations Cavalry
cannot make effective charges.
Sooner or later, heavy Cavalry will have to be done away with, but the late civil war in America, fought over a country much like our own, has shown that there is looming up in the future a species of light cavalrythe Mounted Riflemen-which is destined to play a great part in the wars of the future. A force of this nature properly equipped, and armed and drilled so as to give them the greatest possible advantage from the improvements in fire-arms, will be a most useful auxiliary to armies, not only in lines of battle where they might in case of need be used dismounted, as they were continually during the war in the Southern States, but more particularly in partizan warfare, reconnoitring, outpost duty, and all that which the French include under the term operations secondaires de la guerre.”
It has been often said that Canada is so much cut up with fences and woods that Cavalry could never operate in it. This is doubtless true with reference to heavy Cavalry, but the same statement does not apply to Mounted Rifles. It is in intersected, broken and partially wooded country that the mounted riflemen can operate to the greatest
have as good material from which to organize a force of Mounted Rifles as can be found in any part of the world. In the young farmers of this country we find a class owning their farms, accustomed to out-door life. and possessing, in addition to physique and intelligence, two great qualifications for a dragoon, namely, a good seat on a horse, and a general knowledge of the use of the rifle. A small amount of drill and a little practical training in outpost and reconnoitring duty. would make these young men a most valuable force for defensive war.
The value of such a force swarming around an invading army cannot be over estimated. We can hardly over-rate the assistance given by the Uhlans to the Prussian invading columns, nevertheless they would have been infinitely more useful had they been trained and armed as mounted riflemen. As soon as the French franc-tireurs were organized this was clearly shown, for the Uhlans were afterwards always accompanied by bodies of Infantry, who were required to dislodge those partizans from villages and woods where the Cavalry could not reach them mounted. On the other hand, Bazaine was shut up in Metz on account of the inefficiency of his light Cavalry, who failed to warn him of his right flank being turned and his communication being threatened, until it was too late for him to retreat.
Applying these examples to ourselves, it is evidently important that we should have a strong body of Light Cavalry in
Our present force is entirely too weak in proportion to the other branches of the Service. Jomini says Cavalry should constitute one-sixth of an army. Gen. MacDougall, in his "Theory of War," says onefourth. We have positively less than onethirtieth, and that in a country where a large number of our Infantry volunteers actually ride their horses to drill, and leave them tied to fences and under driving sheds while they are being taught Infantry manoeuvres in the drill rooms.
The northern portion of this continent is destined to be the home of a great and powerful nationality. It is our duty therefore, now, in the youth of our Dominion, while it is gathering strength under the protection of the Mother-country to lay the foundations of military power. As long as our people are defensively warlike, we have the best safeguard for peace. It is our duty to let other nations see that while we desire to live on friendly terms with our neighbours and with the whole world, nevertheless if any attempt be made to deprive us of our independence and our national existence, it will be met by the whole energies of a de
The late war, as well as the wars in the Crimea, in Italy, Denmark, and Austria have taught us another lesson. They have shown that the millennium has not yet arrived.termined and united people, organized, armThey have shown that the security of States ed and led so as to give the utmost possible depends mainly on their own inherent effect to our small population. A thorough strength and determination, and upon their organization, and a confident, self-reliant warlike skill and preparation for defence. spirit is all that is required to secure the We have a great future before us, if we can peace which we all desire. but preserve our independence as a people.
THE CONSOLATIONS OF SCIENCE.
FROM THE OPENING OF THE SECOND BOOK OF LUCRETIUS.
IS sweet, when tempests lash the tossing main,
Not that we draw delight from other's pain,
But in their ills feel our security:
'Tis sweet to view ranged on the battle plain
Thence to look down upon the wandering ways
Fools! What doth nature crave? A painless frame, Therewith a spirit void of care or fear.
Calm Ease and true Delight are but the same.
What, if for thee no golden statues rear
The long-drawn palace courts with glittering gear,
Pleasure like theirs that 'neath the spreading tree
On simple dainties, while the sunny sky
And as to chase the body's ills away
Wealth, birth and kingly majesty are vain, So is it with the mind's disease: array
Thy mail-clad legions on the swarming plain, Bid them deploy, wheel, charge in mimic fray,
As though one soul moved all the mighty train, With war's full pomp and circumstance: will all Set free the mind to dreadful thoughts a thrall?
Crowd ocean with thy fleets, a thousand sail;
Will thy armada banish from the breast The fear of death? If then of no avail
Are all these baubles, if the soul's unrest
If haunting Care climbs an unbidden guest
Delay no longer Reason's aid to try,
Since Reason's aid alone can mend our plight
At their own fancy's bugbears, ofttimes fly,